Drillers name new manager, give Espy different title
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
2/05/13 at 7:15 AM
Duane Espy will be returning for his third season with the Tulsa Drillers, but it won't be in his previous role as manager.
The Drillers announced on Monday that Espy has been named as the Colorado Rockies' Double-A Development Supervisor, while Kevin Riggs moves up to manager from hitting coach.
Espy's position is new in the Rockies' organization. He will be with the Double-A team for all 140 Texas League games. The Rockies will be the first major league organization to have this type of a set-up with its farm clubs as all will have a development supervisor.
In a press release, the Rockies define the development supervisor as "a leadership role that is highly responsible for the oversight and implementation of the Colorado Rockies development philosophies and practices. The Development Supervisor will be a team-builder who will create synergy among staff members so that they may generate and evaluate best practices on a daily, weekly, monthly and season-long basis.
"The Development Supervisors will serve as leaders in communication, so that consistency and continuity of organizational philosophies, execution, standards and expectations exist from level to level. In addition, the Development Supervisors will creatively seek out solutions to issues and challenges, so that we establish a foundation of winning with a focus on the professional and personal development of our players. The Development Supervisor will travel with their respective club."
Espy and Riggs helped the Drillers post a 75-64 record last year and their first playoff appearance since 2007. Espy, 60, was 143-136 as Drillers manager. He has been in the Rockies' organization since 2003 and was their major league hitting coach the first four of those years.
"We're certainly very excited to have Duane and Kevin back with us in leadership roles," Drillers general manager Mike Melega said. "They have been incredible to work with. The addition of having another qualified full-time developmental guy with our club should give us a leg up on the other teams in the Texas League. The Rockies have always been an organization that has thought outside the box and I'm kind of excited about this. Time will tell if this is effective."
Riggs, 43, will be in his sixth season in the Rockies organization and second with Tulsa. This will be the first time in the Drillers' history that dates to 1977 that Tulsa will have a manager without previous managerial experience, although he was 1-1 filling in for Espy in 2012 when Espy coached in the Futures Game.
Riggs was hitting coach at high Single-A Modesto in 2011 and at low Single-A Asheville in 2009-10.
Riggs was a pro infielder with four organizations from 1990-97, reaching as high as Double-A in his last four years, including 1994 in the Texas League with El Paso.
Tulsa's new pitching coach is Darryl Scott, who replaces Dave Schuler, who moved up to Triple-A Colorado Springs in that role.
Scott was Modesto's pitching coach the past four seasons and has worked with Espy and Riggs in Modesto.
Scott, 44, pitched in pro baseball from 1990-2000 and appeared in 16 major league games for the California Angels in 1993. He also pitched in the Rockies' farm system and with four other organizations and in Japan. He has coached many of the pitchers who are expected to be with the Drillers in 2013.
Tulsa also will have a new hitting coach, Darin Everson, who is the owner and director of the Elite Baseball Academy in La Crosse, Wis. He was a minor league manager from 2007-11. The first three of those years was in the Florida Marlins organization with short-season Jamestown and Single-A Greensboro. In 2010-11, he was the manager and director of operations for the independent Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League.
Everson was a catcher/first baseman during seven minor league seasons from 1993-99, primarily in the Montreal and Boston organizations, reaching as high as Double-A.
Warren Schaeffer, an infielder for the Drillers the past three seasons, has retired as a player and was named a coach at the Rockies' short-season Tri-City affiliate, where former Drillers manager Ron Gideon will be the development supervisor. Another former Drillers manager, Marv Foley, will have that role at low Single-A Asheville.
The Drillers will have a new medical trainer, Chris Dovey, who replaces Austin O'Shea, who had served as the team's trainer since 2007. Brian Buck will join the Drillers as the strength and conditioning trainer.
The Drillers open their 2013 season at San Antonio on April 4 and host San Antonio in the home opener at ONEOK Field on April 11.
Drillers up next
Season opener: 7:05 p.m. April 4, at San Antonio
Home opener: 7:05 p.m. April 11, vs. San Antonio
Original Print Headline: Drillers shift managerial duties, add coaches
Barry Lewis 918-581-8393